Taking a dig at the unity show presented by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners in Ludhiana on Sunday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Monday that the split in the NDA "is very much there" and would begin to show after the elections.
"It is wrong to say that the NDA has not split. The BJD and the TDP (Biju Janata Dal of Orissa and Telugu Desam Party of Andhra Pradesh) are no longer there. The split is very much there. It will be even more after the elections," the Prime Minister said while addressing the media in this industrial city of Punjab on the last day of campaigning for the final phase of elections.
He said the NDA cannot take the country ahead on a fast pace of development.
He dismissed the Third Front as "already shaky" and said he had no doubt that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government would come back to power after the May 16 election results.
On his being the prime minister again, Manmohan Singh said: "The Congress has declared who will be their prime ministerial candidate. There is no wavering in our commitment on the prime minister."
Asked about the possibilities in case there is a hung parliament, the prime minister said: "There is no provision for president's rule at the centre. There has to be a government at the centre. We have to wait. We have to be patient. We have to see what is the situation on the ground."
He said that it was desirable that there were fewer parties in the political system.
But, he added, "regional parties are a reality. I have nothing against regional parties."
Asked about the "weak PM" remark against him by the BJP's prime ministerial candidate LK Advani, Manmohan Singh said: "Whether I am weak or strong should be judged by my performance. Advani should bother about these things also. We have achieved one and a half times more growth than the NDA government term."
On terrorism, he said his government would deal with it firmly "but without targeting any particular community".